What motivated you to pursue postgraduate study?
I was motivated to pursue postgraduate study as I had developed an interest in the law whilst doing my undergraduate degree.
As a member of the Bar Society, I had become very interested in pursuing a career as a barrister and I knew for this, it was necessary for me to undertake the GDL.
What were you doing before applying for a postgraduate degree?
Before my postgraduate degree, I was an undergraduate at the University of Oxford studying Philosophy and Theology.
Were there any challenges affecting your decision to study a postgraduate degree? If so, how did you overcome them?
The challenges affecting my decision to study a postgraduate degree included deciding where was best to undertake the GDL. I knew I wanted to study in London, but there was still a wide range of universities to choose from that offered the GDL.
I overcame this problem by fully researching each course, as well as talking to previous GDL students who could give me an insight into their particular university, the course structure and benefits.
Why did you choose City?
I chose City because I had heard such fantastic reviews about the GDL course from GDL alumni. I knew the course had great tutors and the examinations were all at the end of the year, which I preferred.
I also preferred the fact that the final grade is decided based upon examinations only and not coursework. Furthermore, I chose City because of the great extra-curricular activities it has to offer including its many links with exciting pro-bono projects such as the School Exclusion Project and Vocalise.
How are you funding your studies – did you secure any financial support?
No, I did not. Luckily I had some savings and a part-time job as well as help from my family to support me through the year.
What does a typical week at university look like for you?
In a typical week, I generally have three to four one-hour tutorials, covering half of the modules studied on the GDL. In the same week, I have a one to two-hour lecture per module which amounts to about 14 hours a week as there are seven modules in total.
As this year has been online, it has been up to me when I watch the lectures. I have usually chosen to spread them out evenly across the week. In between contact hours, I prepare for next week's tutorials which include reading and answering questions that are assigned to the next tutorial.
Aside from academic work, as a Vocalise mentor, I used to have to train every Wednesday evening for the role.
A typical week might also involve a moot, or, sometimes work as a Schools' Consent Project volunteer delivering workshops about consent to students. Around pupillage application season, every day was busy since it included lots of workshops, talks and questions and answers sessions about advice for applying for pupillage.
What has been your favourite module or aspect of your course so far?
My favourite module has been criminal law. I have always been interested in criminal law, so to study it formally has been fantastic! It is just as interesting as I thought it would be, although some of the cases can be quite gruesome!
What knowledge and skills has your course helped you develop?
I have definitely developed my analysis skills, as I am able to discuss an opinion or statement on the law much better than I would have before. Obviously, my knowledge of the law and the English Legal System has dramatically increased.
In general, because we practise our skills through answering problem questions, I have become much better at recognising information that is useful and information that is irrelevant, focusing on how best I could advise a client.
What opportunities and experiences has City offered you so far?
City has offered me many pro-bono experiences. For example, I was accepted as a Vocalise mentor through City, as well as a Schools' Consent Project volunteer.
I am also on the committee for the Pro-Bono Society and I have been able to take part in multiple mooting competitions thanks to City.
These experiences have certainly kept me busy this year, but have definitely improved my legal skills and hopefully my employability as a future barrister!
What are your career plans and how has City prepared you for them?
I plan to be a criminal barrister. City has helped me prepare for this by offering me many pro-bono experiences and mooting opportunities as well as just giving me fantastic tutors to learn from!
What advice would you give to someone considering a postgraduate degree?
I would say that it is a fantastic opportunity, if you have the option to take it, to broaden your academic career into an area that you are particularly interested in.
I would definitely recommend it, particularly if it is required for a career that you wish to pursue, such as a solicitor or barrister.